Arms dealer convicted in Los Angeles of conspiracy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a black-market arms dealer who tried to buy anti-aircraft missiles and sell them to clients in the Middle East has been convicted in Los Angeles of conspiracy.

Rami Asad-Ghanem was convicted Thursday. He’s facing 25 years to life in prison.

Authorities say Ghanem, who’s a naturalized U.S. citizen, conspired to transfer missiles to customers around the world and in one case arranged the hiring of mercenaries to operate missiles for a Libyan militant group.

Following a tip from a Los Angeles military supply firm, authorities arranged a sting operation and Ghanem was arrested in Athens in 2015 after trying to buy sniper rifles and other military equipment.

Ghanem pleaded guilty last month to other federal crimes including smuggling and money laundering. He awaits sentencing on those charges.

Categories: California News